A taste of Pittsburgh.

deluca'sThis week’s post features four different restaurants around the city. They’re all names you’ve probably heard of if you have found yourself in Pittsburgh for long enough. Look below the text to find pictures and more information.

Primanti Brothers, probably the name I hear the most often, is a sandwich shop made famous for its unique sandwich. According to the restaurant’s website, it all started in the 1930s when Joe Primanti opened a cart that sold sandwiches to truckers. He was given some potatoes by a trucker and he slapped them on a sandwich. The sandwich has meat, cheese, tomatoes, vinaigrette coleslaw and French fries all piled between to slices of white bread. Primanti’s offers the perfect place to watch any sports games in the city because it also hosts a bar. The restaurant has a number of locations stretching across Pittsburgh, and there are even some in Florida. All of the menu items are under $8 including sandwiches with a variety of meats: from kielbasa to fish to sirloin steak (and the regulars, of course). Primanti’s also serves salads, chili, and chicken fingers and wings. My favorite on the menu has come to be the Pitts-burgher cheese steak sandwich. One thing is for sure: a Primanti’s sandwich is a meal.

Pamela’s Diner takes its customers back in time. The walls are lined with memorabilia containing board games, records and photographs. This restaurant is known for its hot cakes, which are crepe style pancakes served as big as the plate. These pancakes are much thinner than regular pancakes, and they can also be folded and stuffed with strawberries and brown sugar, or bananas and walnuts or chocolate chips. Another main menu item is the Lyonnaise potatoes, which are home fries mixed with onions and other seasonings. The menu also boasts other breakfast items including omelets, croissant French toast, corned beef hash, and a whole lunch menu that I have yet to make my way to after several visits. Pamela’s also has several locations through Pittsburgh. The original restaurant opened in 1980 and another was recently added in Mt. Lebanon, according to the restaurant’s website. If you go to Pamela’s you can’t go wrong with one of their specialty hotcakes (I recommend the strawberry), or one of their omelets.

The Original Hot Dog Shop, or The O, is located in Oakland right next to the University of Pittsburgh campus. According to the restaurant’s website, The O was on Food Network’s Unwrapped. This shop is famous for its French fries that are served by the bucket load. A small order could probably feed three people. If you look at the picture slideshow below, you will see The O’s fry sizes. They fill the containers, plus half the bag they come in. The milkshakes are also a pretty big size. The O does not skimp on its portions. The menu includes every fast food you could think of: pizza, hot dogs, fries, burgers, and subs. Excluding the deluxe pizza, everything on the menu is under $10. The O is definitely a college place. It’s not that charming inside, and allows customers to order 12 packs of beer. The great food makes you look past the appearance. For first time customers, the restaurant can be sort of disorienting. There are multiple counters, and you can only order certain items at each. Just make sure to look at the items on the menu above the counter before ordering. The restaurant is open until 3:30 a.m. weekdays, and until 5 a.m. during the weekend.

DeLuca’s is a breakfast spot in the Strip District. It serves an extensive breakfast and lunch menu. DeLuca’s is known for the line it can have out the door during weekends. It has pancakes galore with options including peanut butter chocolate, pumpkin, chocolate chip strawberry, and even Almond Joy. The menu also includes eggs benedict, a famous breakfast burrito, and waffle or pancake sundaes. The restaurant was featured on Man V Food during the Pittsburgh episode, according to the Travel Channel website. DeLuca’s is open 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and until 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, so you have to get there early, especially  if you want to beat the line. When walking into DeLuca’s, you can tell they’re all about the food. The restaurant doesn’t really have a concrete theme as the walls have different pictures on them, plain booths, and a space themed menu. Both times I’ve been to DeLuca’s I got the pancakes. The pumpkin were great with the cream cheese topping.

A survey of Pittsburghers picking their favorite of the restaurants. Primanti's won by one vote.

A survey of Pittsburghers picking their favorite of the restaurants. Primanti’s won by one vote out of the 26 votes.

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This graph shows how many times 20 people visited the restaurants in 6 months collectively. Since DeLuca’s and The O only have one location, this may be why their numbers are so low.

In the slideshow below I’ve included pictures of all the meals I had at these restaurants, and some teasers of what they look like inside. Click the picture to launch the slideshow.
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This map shows all of the locations of the restaurants. Remember that Primanti Brothers and Pamela’s have more than one location.

This is a picture of the map. Click the link below to use the interactive map.

This is a picture of the map. Click on this map to use the interactive map.

View Iconic Pittsburgh Restaurants in a full screen map

Ever wondered how old these restaurants are? Find out with the timeline below.



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